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Colorado Avalanche add depth defensemen to the organization on trade deadline day

Colorado Avalanche v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have made a couple of minor moves on NHL trade deadline day. Nearly two hours after the deadline had passed, the team announced that they have acquired defenseman Ryan Graves from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Chris Bigras. Graves will report to the San Antonio Rampage.

Graves, a 22-year old from Yarmouth Nova Scotian, is in his third season with the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, where he has 11 points (4g/7a) in 57 games this year while serving as an alternate captain. He has totaled 62 points (21g/41a) in 207 career AHL contests, all with Hartford.

Graves was selected 110th overall in the 2013 draft - 78 picks after Bigras.

.The 6-foot-5, 226-pound blueliner played in back-to-back Memorial Cups in 2014 (with Val-d’Or) and 2015 (with Quebec). helped Val-d’Or to the President’s Cup as QMJHL playoff champions and a Memorial Cup berth in 2013-14.

After starting the season with the Avs, Bigras has 6 points in 20 games with the Rampage this season. It was clear that the 23-year old had fallen down the organization’s depth chart and it was just a matter of time before the Avs found him a new home.

This trade seems like nothing more than letting two young defensemen try to find their way to the NHL in different organizations.

Earlier in the day, the Avalanche added Mark Alt - claiming him off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Alt is a 26-year old right-handed defenseman that has played 8 games with the Flyers this season. At 6-4, Alt adds some size and balance to the Avalanche lineup that has been missing since Erik Johnson went down with a separated shoulder.

As a waiver pickup, Alt isn’t eligible to be sent down, so he is going to be with the team for the foreseeable future.